The Singapore Grand Prix 2019 is barely a week away and already, there are a few hiccups. Apparently the city is blanketed in a toxic haze which is deemed “unhealthy” by the National Environment Agency.
The root cause of the smog is the burning of land for plantations in Indonesia. Apparently, this is not an isolated issue, but an annual one, although the lack of rainfall has worsened the situation.
“There has been a deterioration in the haze conditions in Singapore this afternoon,” said the NEA in a statement. “This was due to a confluence of winds over the nearby region that led to more smoke haze from Sumatra being blown toward Singapore.”
The good news is that, as of Sunday, 15 September, the haze situation in Singapore has improved. This was largely thanks to the prevailing winds shifting to blow from the southeast.
“For the rest of the day, slightly hazy conditions are expected to continue and the prevailing winds are forecast to blow from the southeast or south,” the statement added.
“Moderate to dense smoke haze continued to emanate from persistent hotspots in these provinces, and some smoke haze from Riau and Jambi has been blown by the prevailing winds to affect Singapore and parts of Peninsular Malaysia.”
It further predicted that the weather in Singapore is expected to be dry, save for a few brief showers. Such weather conditions will surely impact the Singapore Grand Prix 2019, but only time will tell if it is positive or negative.
According to the Singapore Grand Prix 2019 organisers, they do have a contingency plan in place to combat the possibility of haze.
“The plan was formulated and refined with stake holders, government bodies and the Formula One community,” the organisers revealed to AFP.
“In the event that the haze causes visibility, public health or operational issues, Singapore GP would work closely with the relevant agencies before making any collective decisions regarding the event.”
Although the race is a week away, the teams will slowly come in one-by-one over the next 48 hours. This is so that they can set up their garages, and one source in Singapore claims that the haze “is an issue”.